European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

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Municipal youth councils

A municipal youth council is a platform for young people to shape their society and to encourage the democratic participation of young people.


What are municipal youth councils?

Youth councils are platforms for young people, usually aged 13 to 17, to shape their society and to encourage the democratic participation of young people. By law, the youth councils have the role of advising their local government on youth policy. 

The objectives of youth councils

Different youth councils have different objectives. Most of them have the objective of ensuring that the voices of teenagers under 18 are heard and respected by their government and society. They are usually concerned with protecting the rights and interests of young people, and influencing decision makers.

What do youth councils do?

No two youth councils are the same, but they all operate in similar ways. For example, they meet regularly and discuss their interests. The most important thing is that young people have the opportunity to be active participants in a democratic society. Some of them hold seminars, open meetings and youth conferences, and some even do international projects. Each youth council meets their local government at least once a year to discuss their ideas, and often the youth councils’ ideas come to life!

How old are youth councilors?

Usually people aged 13 to 17 are eligible candidates for youth councils, since 18 years olds already have voting rights, and therefore do not need to be specially represented. However, each municipality is free to decide the age limits, number of councilors, objectives etc.

How do I participate?

The selection of youth councilors is different between municipalities, but most commonly, they are appointed by the local student bodies, youth centres etc, but in some cases, anyone who is interested may take part in the youth council’s work. 
Information about each youth council is found at the respective municipality’s website
This article was written in cooperation with Áttavitinn